External Rotation Shoulder Pain: Causes, Treatment, and Prevention

Oct 20, 2023

Welcome to IAOM-US! We are dedicated to providing high-quality health and medical care through our experienced chiropractors and physical therapists. In this article, we will delve into the topic of external rotation shoulder pain, discussing its causes, treatment options, and effective prevention strategies.

Understanding External Rotation Shoulder Pain

External rotation shoulder pain refers to the discomfort or inflammation experienced when the shoulder joint is externally rotated or moved away from the body. This type of pain often occurs due to various reasons, including repetitive activities, overuse, traumatic injuries, or improper form during exercises.

Causes of External Rotation Shoulder Pain

There are several potential causes for external rotation shoulder pain, including:

  • Rotator Cuff Tears: Tears in the rotator cuff muscles or tendons can lead to external rotation shoulder pain.
  • Traumatic Injuries: Falls, accidents, or sports-related injuries can cause external rotation shoulder pain.
  • Impingements: Subacromial impingement syndrome occurs when the rotator cuff tendons rub against the acromion bone, causing pain during external rotation.
  • Bursitis: Inflammation of the bursae in the shoulder can lead to painful movements.
  • Instability: Shoulder instability can cause external rotation shoulder pain, especially during certain movements.

Treatment Options for External Rotation Shoulder Pain

When it comes to treating external rotation shoulder pain, several effective options are available. However, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional, such as a chiropractor or physical therapist, to determine the specific treatment plan suitable for your condition. Here are some common treatment approaches:

1. Physical Therapy:

Physical therapy plays a crucial role in rehabilitating shoulder injuries and managing external rotation shoulder pain. Therapists use various techniques, including exercises, stretches, and manual therapy, to improve shoulder strength, stability, and range of motion.

2. Chiropractic Care:

Chiropractors specialize in diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal conditions, including shoulder pain. They use targeted adjustments, mobilizations, and soft tissue therapies to alleviate discomfort, restore proper joint alignment, and promote healing.

3. Medications:

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, can help reduce pain and inflammation associated with external rotation shoulder pain. However, these medications should be used under professional guidance and for short durations.

4. Rest and Ice:

Rest is crucial for allowing the injured shoulder to heal. Applying ice packs to the affected area can also help reduce pain and inflammation.

Prevention Strategies for External Rotation Shoulder Pain

Prevention is always better than cure. By implementing these strategies, you can significantly reduce the risk of developing external rotation shoulder pain:

1. Proper Warm-up and Stretching:

Before engaging in any physical activity, it is essential to warm up your muscles and perform targeted stretches. This prepares the shoulder joint and surrounding muscles for movement, reducing the likelihood of injury.

2. Correct Technique and Form:

Whether you are participating in sports or simply performing everyday tasks, proper technique and form are vital. This ensures that you are not placing unnecessary stress on your shoulders, minimizing the risk of injury.

3. Gradual Progression:

Avoid overexertion and gradual progression when it comes to physical activities. Sudden increases in intensity or frequency can strain the shoulder joints, leading to external rotation shoulder pain. Listen to your body and give it time to adapt to new exercises or movements.

4. Regular Strength and Mobility Training:

Engaging in regular strength and mobility training exercises can help maintain healthy shoulder joints. Focus on strengthening the muscles surrounding the shoulders, improving stability, and enhancing overall function.


External rotation shoulder pain can be a challenging condition, but with the right approach, it can be effectively managed and prevented. At IAOM-US, we specialize in providing top-quality chiropractic and physical therapy services to address a wide range of health and medical issues. Consult our experienced professionals to receive expert guidance tailored to your needs. Say goodbye to shoulder pain and regain your mobility today!

Note: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice. Always consult with a qualified healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Joan Yiu
Great to hear! 😊 So glad this cleared things up for you!
Nov 7, 2023
Tracy Jarvis
Thanks! This article really cleared up my confusion 😊
Oct 28, 2023
Pavel Raskovalov
Great information on external rotation shoulder pain management!
Oct 22, 2023